Privacy By Design For Everyone

News 2021

CalyxOS Phones Available Again Soon

We're so excited about the tremendous interest that the world has shown in our CalyxOS phones, which we offer as part of our CalyxOS Privacy Defender membership. We're currently waiting for our next shipment of phones to arrive, so we expect to have them back in stock and available again as as part of our membership program soon!

Interested in new developments in cybersecurity? Check out our Medium page!

In our work developing free digital privacy technologies and partnering with other organizations who protect privacy and free speech, we often find ourselves at the right place at the right time to get "the inside scoop" on cybersecurity's cutting edge.

We're excited to bring that info to our members in the form of our Medium page, where we'll be posting deep-dive articles written by our staff about the tech, policy and people who are at the forefront of the digital privacy movement. It's a great place to learn about a new app to stay connected during an internet blackout, tools to make Tor accessible in countries experiencing extreme censorship, and much more!

As always, many thanks to our Calyx Institute members, whose generous donations make our mission of preserving and expanding digital privacy possible!

Happy Memorial Day!

Thank you so much for your support and patience throughout this busy season! Our office will be closed this coming Monday, May 31 2021, in observance of the Federal holiday, and at low staff capacity in following days while a few staff take time off. If you reach out to us during that time, our response may be slower than expected.

We have been surprised and delighted by the tremendous response to our new Sustainer memberships. We are packing and shipping as fast as we can to make up for the delay we experienced when our latest shipment of hotspots was delayed. If your M2000 hotspot has been delayed, don't worry! We'll be extending the memberships of all new and newly-upgraded Sustainer members to make up for the delay. If you have an existing Calyx hotspot that is set to be replaced by an M2000, your existing hotspot will continue to work until your M2000 arrives.

We really appreciate your enthusiasm for our mission, and the patience you have shown our small team. As always, if you experience problems with your hotspot or wifi service please call tech support at 877-216-9603 for help. If there are any questions we can answer for you, or anything we can do to improve your membership experience, please don't hesitate to reach out at help@calyxinstitute.org

More 5G devices on the way!

Thanks so much for your tremendous response to our new Sustainer memberships, which include the 5G-capable M2000 hotspots! We're already running low on our initial stock of the M2000, but we expect to have more arriving in the next few days. If you're not able to sign up for a Sustainer membership or order an M2000 as your preferred replacement device, please stay tuned to this page and to our social media for updates about when the M2000s will be available again!

PRL Update for Improved Roaming

If you have a hotspot as part of our Contributor or Contributor Plus memberships, we have big news for you! We are pleased to let you know that another roaming update will take place this weekend for our mobile hotspots. In order to receive this latest Preferred Roaming List (PRL) update, please restart your hotspot this Sunday (05/02/21) and keep it powered on this Tuesday (05/04/21).

Once your hotspot accepts the PRL update, your service will continue on the Sprint network as normal. With this update, your device will also have improved roaming capabilities on the T-Mobile network. Roaming on the T-Mobile network will only occur when your device is no longer on the Sprint network, and where the T-Mobile network is available. For those of you who have been our members for a while, you may remember that a similar PRL update happened last fall to expand our hotspots' access to the T-Mobile network when Sprint is not available. We expect the effects of this PRL to be similar to the previous one in terms of increasing access to T-Mobile's network as a result of the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile.

Your Calyx Institute membership benefits will still include unlimited 4G data and no throttling, as always.

If you are having questions about this PRL update, we recommend reaching out for additional info to Sprint at 877-879-5031 and tech support at 877-216-9603. If your device experiences any issues, please call tech support at 877-216-9603 to troubleshoot and get started on a warranty replacement if needed. Don't hesitate to email us at help@calyxinstitute.org if there's anything we can do to make your Calyx Institute membership great!

We're Hiring a Systems Developer / Systems Administrator

We're hiring a systems administrator / systems developer at The Calyx Institute! This role will become responsible for developing and maintaining parts of The Calyx Institute’s infrastructure. We are looking for someone to help modernize, update, and properly document these services and their setup as Calyx continues to grow. Our digital services include our instances of Jitsi, CalyxVPN (running on the Bitmask platform), Mumble, XMPP/Jabber, Mail, Tor servers and Onion services, our website, DNS, and mirror servers for partner organizations (such as the Tor Project).

The Calyx Institute is a not-for-profit education and research organization devoted to studying, testing, developing, and implementing privacy technology and tools to educate the public and promote free speech, free expression, civic engagement and privacy rights on the internet and in the mobile telephone industry. Calyx offers a range of tools and technologies for secure communications and censorship circumvention to users around the globe.

We think a successful candidate for this role would join us with the skills and experience to be able to:

  • Git: forking, branching, merging, reviewing, and rebasing. Ansible: writing ansible playbooks, deploying and maintaining servers using ansible, and troubleshooting problems.
  • Interest in containers: building and registering images, deploying containers, upgrading containers.
  • Use SSH: generating keys, validating host keys, installing authorized keys.
  • Ease and comfort using command line tools and shell scripts in a Linux environment.

Bonus points if you have experience with or an interest in:

  • Security planning: some previous exposure to information security basics, such as inventory management, upgrade and security patch management, and threat modeling.
  • Container orchestration: some previous exposure to any container orchestration system, such as Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, etc.
  • Debian: experience with Debian or another apt-based Linux distribution.
  • Networking: some previous exposure to topics in network administration, including network optimization, isolation, BGP routing, DDoS mitigation, and so on.
  • Working on other privacy, security, or censorship-circumvention technologies or projects.

We know that there are amazing candidates that won’t match the job description as we’ve written it. We don’t expect you to meet all of the above requirements. If you feel that you meet several of these requirements or could meet them with a little support, we would love to hear from you. At The Calyx Institute, we all wear many hats, but we don’t expect anyone to wear every hat.

In the coming year, we expect that you would be able to:

  • System Administration: manage Calyx Institute servers using best practices such as infrastructure-as-code, regular backups, failure recovery plans, timely updates and security patches, data minimization, and privilege isolation.
  • System Development: lead the design and automation of Calyx's public and private digital services, currently including CalyxOS build pipeline, voice conference, VPN, chat, email, DNS, Tor gateways, support tickets, and various web services.
  • Information Security: coordinate regular assessments of Calyx Institute's security profile, including practices for signing builds, maintaining keys, use of email, patch management, safeguarding data, and privilege assignment.

In the long term, we expect that you will be able to:

Help us to design and deploy the next generation of Calyx Institute infrastructure, including containerization, continuous integration, centralized logging, privacy-respecting analytics, threat detection, high availability, single-sign on, and scalable storage for CalyxOS user backups and data synchronization.

We think this role might be an especially good fit for someone who:

Wants to be engaged in our mission of educating the public about privacy and surveillance, and our work in providing privacy-by-design services and working support users who are disproportionately targeted by surveillance and censorship.

This is a full-time, salaried position located remotely within the United States or at our Brooklyn, NY office, beginning mid-June.

Salary and Benefits We are offering a salary of $75,000 - $100,000, commensurate with experience and qualifications. Calyx offers health, vision, and dental insurance, sick leave, three weeks vacation time, and holidays off.

How to Apply

Please send the following to jobs@calyxinstitute.org with a subject line that includes “Systems Developer / Systems Administrator”:

  • A cover letter in PDF format.
  • A 1-2 page resumé in PDF format.
  • 2 professional references with contact information.

The Calyx Institute is an equal opportunity employer. Calyx encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction.

We think a strong candidate will exhibit competencies in technical project management, clear communication, and trust building.

All interviews will be held remotely. We will respond to all applicants to inform them of whether we would like to schedule an interview. If you have not heard back from us within two weeks of your application, please reach out.

Candidates who are selected for a second-round interview will be asked to complete a questionnaire or short assessment exercise before the interview. This will take no more than two hours, and is intended to better understand how you might approach challenges similar to those you would find in this role. This will not include work that can be used in the real world, and is not a test, but rather is intended to help better inform the interview process.

Meet Team CommUNITY, our newest grantee!

Calyx is excited to announce a general support grant to the Team CommUNITY program of ARTICLE 19, a leading freedom of expression nonprofit organization. Team CommUNITY cultivates digital rights and privacy communities throughout the world, offering services like facilitation for both online and offline gatherings, training on “secure organizing” and group threat modeling, and holistic security for community networks and events. You can read more about their work on their website.

Happy New Year!

Thanks again to all our wonderful members, old and new! Just a quick reminder that our shipping team is only two people, so we're not able to ship as fast as Amazon or other online entities with vast resources and staffs. We're a small, scrappy organization doing our absolute best to protect online privacy, empower internet users and bridge the digitial divide with the limited resources we have. Your enthusiasm for our mission and our memberships is amazing, and we thank you so much for bearing with us while we get your new member benefits packages out to you ASAP!